Hillary Clinton has released the first extract from her long-awaited memoir Hard Choices, in which she focuses on one of the most important women in her life – her late mother.
Dorothy Howell Rodham died in 2011, and Clinton cancelled a state visit to be by her side.
“No one had a bigger influence on my life or did more to shape the person I became,” she writes in her new autobiography, which is due for release on 10 June. The excerpt comes exactly a week since Monica Lewinsky broke her silence on the infamous Clinton affair.
“When I lost my father in 1993, it felt too soon, and I was consumed with sadness for all the things he would not live to see and do. This was different. Mom lived a long and full life. This time I wept not for what she would miss but for how much I would miss her.
“I spent the next few days going through her things at home, paging through a book, staring at an old photograph, caressing a piece of beloved jewellery. I found myself sitting next to her empty chair in the breakfast nook and wishing more than anything that I could have one more conversation, one more hug.”
Clinton details the impact that her “amazingly energetic and positive” mother had on her and how hard she found finally saying goodbye – candidly recalling the small memorial held in celebration of her life.
“Standing there with Bill and Chelsea by my side, I tried to say a final goodbye. I remembered a piece of wisdom that an older friend of mine shared in her later years that perfectly captured how my mother lived her life and how I hoped to live mine: ‘I have loved and been loved; all the rest is background music.’
“I looked at Chelsea and thought about how proud Mom was of her. Mom measured her own life by how much she was able to help us and serve others. I knew if she was still with us, she would be urging us to do the same. Never rest on your laurels. Never quit. Never stop working to make the world a better place. That’s our unfinished business.”